Speed Reads

KYLE RITTENHOUSE TRIAL

Kyle Rittenhouse was drawn to Kenosha chaos like a moth to a flame, prosecutor says

Opening statements in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse began Tuesday, one day after a jury was selected. 

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger told the jury that Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two people during a racial justice protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was one of a number of tourists "drawn" to the chaos, NBC News reports.

"Like moths to a flame, tourists from outside our of community were drawn to the chaos here in Kenosha," Binger said in his opening statement. "People from outside of Kenosha came in and contributed to that chaos and it caused many of our citizens to fear for their safety. But out of the hundreds of people that came to Kenosha during that week, the hundreds of people that were out on the streets that week, the evidence will show that the only person that killed anyone was the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse." 

Rittenhouse fatally shot two people, Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and injured a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, amid protests sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in August 2020. Binger told jurors "the shot that killed Mr. Rosenbaum was a shot to the back," and Rittenhouse "chased down Mr. Rosenbaum and confronted him while wielding" an AR-15, NPR reports

Rittenhouse's legal team is set to argue that he acted in self-defense, and Public Defender Project director John Gross told CNN disproving self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt is a "pretty substantial burden for the prosecution," adding, "I think that's going to be where the real challenge for them lies." 

On Monday, 11 women and nine men were selected to serve in the trial, with eight assigned as alternates. Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder told them that while the case was "mentioned by both political campaigns and the presidential campaign last year, in some instances very, very imprudently," this "is not a political trial."